I had a good time at Barter Books in Alnwick yesterday. Bartering books is a good way to recycle the books I’m not going to read again. I took in a box of books and came home with these. As I had built up a nice little sum over my last few visits, I was able to indulge myself!
As you can see I was looking out for crime fiction and found three Agatha Christie’s I haven’t read:
- The Labours of Hercules – Poirot undertakes twelve cases before he retires to grow superior vegetable marrows.
- N or M? – a Tommy and Tuppence wartime mission.
- One, Two, Buckle My Shoe – Poirot investigates the death of his dentist.
I also got another Wycliffe book by W J Burley – Wycliffe and the Cycle of Death, in which he investigates the murder of a bookseller.
And another Perry Mason book by Erle Stanley Gardner- The Case of the Howling Dog – according to superstition a howling dog means a death in the neighbourhood, then both the dog and his owner are killed.
I’ve read one of H R F Keating’s books before but none of his Inspector Ghote’s books – this one caught my eye, Inspector Ghote’s Good Crusade, in which a millionaire philanthropist, the founder of a Bombay home for vagrants is murdered.
I’ve never read any of Sue Grafton’s books but have read reviews of a few, so I was pleased to find the first of her A-Z series – A is for Alibi. Kinsey Malone, Private Investigator has a cold case, hired by Nikki Fife, convicted of the murder of her husband eight years earlier, to find the real killer. If I like these there are plenty more in the series to look out for – and yesterday Barter Books had a shelf-full.
As I still had credit left I splashed out and bought two rather more expensive hardback books on crime fiction, which are at the bottom of the pile in my photo:
- The Great Detectives by Julian Symons, fictional ‘biographies’ of seven detectives, including Sherlock Holmes in retirement! I’ve been watching the fantastic TV series Sherlock, so my interest is very high right now.
- Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection by Chris Steinbrunner and Otto Penzler. I’m really excited by this book, even though it’s over 30 years since it was published. It’s a big, heavy volume which I’m sure is an excellent reference book, containing biographies and bibliographies of crime writers and articles on films, plays radio and TV series and so on. I’ll be dipping into it regularly.
And because I do like to read other books than crime fiction I also got these two books:
I’ve been attempting to draw and paint and this book, How to Draw Anything by Angela Gair makes it look easy, which of course it isn’t. But I’m hoping it will help me improve.
I looked briefly at the many bookcases of general fiction and was drawn (pun not intended!) to Still Life by A S Byatt. Maybe my mind was still on art but this book certainly caught my eye. It’s a novel set in the 1950s. The cover is Still Life with Coffeepot by Vincent Van Gogh.